Super Fruit Kiwi

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Kiwi is a super food as it is a rich combination of Vitamin C E, folic acid, polyphenols, magnesium, and potassium. What makes it different from the rest of the fruits is the low calories so recommended for those wanting to loose weight. 

Originated in China and also called Chinese gooseberry, Kiwi was introduced to New Zealand in 1906 where it was rechristened after their national bird.  In India, it was introduced only a few years ago and is still in the category of an exotic fruit. Not very well known, Kiwi also provides several important nutritional and health benefits.

 While most foods boast of one or two nutrients, Kiwi offers an unusual combination of health promoting substances. Nutritionist Ishi Khosla says Kiwis are extremely rich in vitamin C, almost 80 milligrams in 100 grams (two Kiwis), that is double of an equivalent weight of orange. Simply said, a single Kiwi per day can help meet an adult's daily requirement for Vitamin C...

A super food Kiwi offers several cardio-protective nutrients including  Pectin, folic acid, potassium and vitamin E,  carotenoids , chlorophyll , glutathione . All this with only 90 calories makes it an immensely popular fruit with those wanting to loose weight.

 Nutritionist Ishi Khosla says Kiwi consumption can help boost antioxidant status as Kiwis are a power-house of nutrients and substances that help neutralize free radicals which damage the healthy cells of our body, leading to inflammation and finally resulting in a variety of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and many more.

Kiwis have been found to promote heart health by lowering triglyceride levels and reducing platelet aggregation and limiting tendency of blood to form clots. Combination of vitamin C and E along with polyphenols, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, B vitamins and copper together act to protect the cardiovascular system.

Kiwi also scores on its carotenoids (plant vitamin A) and is a unique non leafy green source of this group of nutrients. This group of nutrients has been associated with a decreased risk for cataracts, macular degeneration and the development of atherosclerotic plaques. A recent randomized trial (2010) in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition showed enhanced iron absorption in women with Kiwi intake for 4 weeks compared to other fruits. Although, low in Iron, kiwis have been found to increase iron absorption significantly compared to other fruits. This could be of great significance in the Indian context, with 60 – 70% of our women being anemic. 

Kiwis are rich in fiber, and low on glycemic index it is an excellent food for especially people wanting to loose weight and diabetic.

Available in most super markets all year round, there are two popular varieties internationally – the green and the gold.  The gold kiwi has a bronze colored flesh and is slightly sweeter and higher in its vitamin C and E and carotenoid content. This variety however is not easily available in India so far. 

Kiwis can be included in your diet as a power snack when added to desserts and salads or pureed into smoothies, shakes and sorbets or served with grilled fish and meat.